of that star in Orion
that isn’t a star
but a nebula
giving birth to 100s
of infant stars;
if I’m not half
as helpful, a force
against the dark,
then I’m as green
as just-mown Astroturf,
as the monster my daughter
insists is under her bed
with the lime Hi-Chew
wrappers, the balls
of chartreuse yarn
she never did make
that macramé parrot with.
Jealous like Medea, who doused her hubby’s
flavor-of-the-week with fiery
brew, like the girl who pulls
the braids of the girl she wishes
she could be but can’t
because her mother won’t buy her
white patent-leather go-go boots,
nor will she be spending spring break
in the Bahamas. Oh, jealousy,
Natalie Merchant croons, nodding,
tossing her locks until heck,
she’s making us jealous of her
Oh, jealousy. Jealous of the thief
who shoplifts cake mix, shortening,
a couple tubs of pink goop,
so she can bake her kid
a birthday cake, of a thief
because jealousy steals more
than ten white tapers ever will,
though not jealous of the crickets
stuck in a gecko cage, fat and happy
as they crowd an apple core
at the table of thanks, while inside
a fake rock sleeps the unchirpable.
Jealous, though, of their easy envy
of the uncaged; they know nothing
of prizes and preaching, of poverty,
though maybe a lot about loss, but
not what it means when the radio
says holed up, at large, fleeing.
Loved ones and armed. Says scene,
which today was a place where
people eat. Says senseless says shot
says shooter, says shoot shoot
, but aha, the crickets are silent,
are digging into the soft, sweet flesh
of a Honey Crisp, all for one
like Melville described extracting
ambergris from whales, elbow
to unjealous elbow, or so it appears
crickets don’t covet another
cricket’s chirp, another cricket’s cercus
or palps, though who am I to assume?
I know we all have wants, a desire
to watch Orion rise in the eastern dark,
find the fuzzy star that isn’t a star
in Orion’s sword, home in on that cloud
of dust and gas, stare for so long I forget
my nephew and I will never agree
about guns, who uses them and when,
forget who I am, what I don’t have,
what I didn’t win, stare without resentment
at the cold night, at the place where
a whole bunch of the future is being born.